A career in industrial pharmacy


Industrial pharmacists do many things but they are mainly involved in the research and development of new medicines, ensuring their safety and quality.

Imagine how rewarding it would be to be part of a team responsible for creating and marketing a drug that helps millions of people all over the world?

Industrial pharmacy can be an extremely rewarding career path leading to managerial positions within pharmaceutical companies. Working in this exciting area of pharmacy means you will be using the latest technologies, processes and methods to develop new medicines for patients.

You could also be involved in the quality checking process as a Qualified Person (QP) with a highly responsible job checking that the medicines your company makes have the correct ingredients and in the right amounts.

Case study

Sarah Connolly

Dr Sarah Connolly, MRPharmS
Director, Regulatory Affairs

Dr Sarah Connolly MRPharmS currently works in the field of clinical trials as Director of Regulatory Affairs at Bio-Images Research in Glasgow.

During my undergraduate pharmacy degree, I completed a summer placement with Controlled Therapeutics (now Ferring Controlled Therapeutics) and this helped me secure a split pre-registration year with Quintiles and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. After qualifying as a pharmacist, I decided to study for a PhD at the University of Strathclyde, successfully completing my viva voce in 2008.

In October 2007, I joined the team at Bio-Images Research as a Clinical Research Pharmacist. Bio-Images specialise in clinical trials using the imaging technique gamma scintigraphy, scintigraphy allows non-invasive visualisation of drug formulations and body systems. A gamma emitting radiopharmaceutical is incorporated into the formulation allowing images to be acquired over time. Analysis of the images provides information on formulation behaviour in vivo. The technique can also be used to understand the effects of food on drug delivery and how gut motility is influenced by drugs.

Having been promoted to Director of Regulatory Affairs in February 2011 my duties are now wide and varied ranging from clinical trial design and protocol development to oversight of clinical trial manufacturing and subsequent dispensing of radiolabelled dosage forms and reviewing regulatory submissions.

With the recent expansion of the Bio-Images group to incorporate Drug Delivery International (DDi) Bio-Images’ sister company (who focus on formulation development and troubleshooting) I’ve been tasked with leading a project to plan a larger-scale GMP manufacturing facility which is an exciting new challenge.

Every day is different and knowing that our clinical studies help get new drugs to market is very rewarding. Working for a small company is great, from day one I was meeting with company directors and owners, the small team on-site work very well together with scientists from various backgrounds making up the team. I really enjoy working as an industrial pharmacist and would thoroughly recommend a career in this sector.